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Tea (Edible) Hardcover – 10 Sep 2010

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Reaktion Books (10 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1861897766
  • ISBN-13: 978-1861897763
  • Product Dimensions: 12.1 x 2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 583,244 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'These are food memoirs, salacious and exotic, colorful, powdered, sweet, greasy and globe-trotting . . . sharp and speedy little reads, spotted with off-kilter illustrations' --Chicago Tribune

'These little morsels of books are part of a delightful and new imprint known as the Edible series . . . The history of each foodstuff is set out compactly and with erudition . . . in each case, it's when the history moves closer to current day that revelation and delight meet.' --Diplomat magazine

About the Author

Helen Saberi was assistant editor of The Oxford Companion to Italian Food. She has travelled extensively and is the author of numerous books about food.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ShiDaDao Ph.D on 3 Nov. 2010
Format: Hardcover
The author - Helen Saberi - may be described as a culinary academic. She has written a number of books on the subject of food and has assisted in the compilation of the Oxford Companion to Food. This book on tea is very accessible to the general reader, and contains some very interesting information for scholarly research. The book is arranged into seven chapters, not including an introduction, a recipes section, and a glossary, etc. The chapters are entitled:

1) What is Tea?
2) China.
3) Japan, Korea and Taiwan.
4) Caravans and Mediterranean ?Shores.
5) Tea Comes to the West.
6) India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.
7) Tea Today and Tomorrow.

The origins of tea are obscure. Saberi explains that tea in Chinese legends may well date back to Emperor Shen Nong (1737-1697BC), although another Chinese legend attributes its beginning to a Buddhist scholar named Wu Li Zhen who is believedto have visited India around 53 BC, where he is believed to have been given seven tea plants, possibly selected from tea already growing in Assam. He brought these plants back to China and planted them on Meng Mountain, Sichuan, an area still famous today for its Gan Lu or 'Sweet Dew' tea.

Tea is of course a British obsession. It is interesting to note that this habit only began in the 17th century in England - with tea being served as an alternative drink in coffee houses. It soon caught on and its price fell as a consequence, allowing people of all classes to partake in the beverage that the Chinese observed to be a general stimulant, that served as a tonic. Tea is of course the Fujian pronounciation of the Manderin word 'cha'. Contained within this book is a very clear explanation of how tea is grown, together with the various processes employed that produce the different blends of tea we know today This is a very good book printed and designed with all the elegance befitting the Japanese Tea Ceremony.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great book! 20 Jun. 2013
By Nothin Nice - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My book came in the mail about three days ago, I opened it and started reading just a few paragraphs. Soon I looked up at the clock and found I had plowed through the entire book in a little under three hours. Amazing and fascinating tale of the history of teas, their productions and uses. As well as several dozen intriguing recipes! I will continue to buy the edible series, out of sheer interest and fascination about the products we take for granted in our supermarket shelves.
I bought a used book and it came in a timely manner, also at a great price and in great condition, no less!
A world of tea culture 4 Aug. 2015
By Gary Sprandel - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
his book is very good at presenting the production of tea and tea culture around the world. In China, Japan, Indonesia and India there is information about the growing and gardens. The chapter on Caravans and Mediterranean Shores” is perhaps unique in talking about the “Tea-Horse Road”, the Silk Road, and the Siberian Routes that were all avenues of tea. My own native St. Louis is presented as the first to popularize ice tea during the 1904 World’s Fair. My parents met at a tea dance in college, but this very different than combination with Tango dancing in 1913 to create a tea dance called The Dansant
The chapter “Tea Comes to the West”, writes of the route of Tea into Europe and America. So the reader is introduced to the East India Company, and the Race for clipper ships. She does not overlook that nastiness in the Boston harbor.
The book is wonderfully illustrated in color, some favorites included an 1820 engraving “Method of gathering Tea my means of Monkeys”, “Men laden with tea bricks for Tibet”, and a “1910 caricature of American suffragettes having a tea party in jail”.
Readers of this might also enjoy “A Social History of Tea” by Pettigrew and Richardson.
Tea History 7 May 2012
By Valerie B. Lull - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This author writes about the history of tea and she does it in a way that is interesting. It is a short volume and it hits the highlights very well. There are illustrations throughout the text which add to the reader's enjoyment. The chapters cover the origin of tea and each chapter includes another country as tea spread around the world.

There is a section of tea recipes, and recipes for other food items like green-tea ice cream, and lemon and rose tea jelly. There is a glossary and a list of resources. This was not heavy reading, it goes fairly quickly and is informative. -- Valerie Lull, Author, Ten Healthy Teas
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